Johnston bids for Newscom

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The Independent Online
NEWS COMMUNICATIONS & Media, the Southampton newspaper group, yesterday centred in a bidding war after Johnston Press, the rival regional publisher, sought regulatory approval to make an offer for the company.

A week ago, Newscom rejected a cash offer from Gannett, the US newspaper company which acquired Newsquest, the UK's third biggest regional press group, for pounds 904m.

The Industry Department will consider possible overlaps between Newscom titles and those of Portsmouth & Sunderland Newspapers, which Johnston took over. Newscom has 118 titles, Johnston Press, 183 titles. Johnston shares closed at 328p, up 1p and Newscom at 1450p, up 87.5p.